Teacher’s role during sustained silent reading

A recent study indicates that teachers can be more flexible in how they spend their time during Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). Previous studies emphasize that adults in the classroom must read silently throughout the SSR period to keep students fully engaged in reading. While the authors of this study do not dispute the importance of the teacher as a role model for students, they claim that teachers can support students’ reading by working quietly with individual children as well as by reading themselves.

Robin Campbell and Gill Scrivens, University of Hertfordshire, England, studied 22 teachers using SSR in four primary schools. From careful observations and interviews, these researchers report that once SSR is well established in a classroom, children remain engaged in silent reading while the teacher spends part of the reading time with individual children, providing unknown words as they read aloud or reading quietly with them.

Other factors that increase the effectiveness of SSR: overall good management and organization, good rapport between the teacher and children, and a pervasive school-wide climate stressing the importance and enjoyment of reading.


“The Teacher Role During Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)”, Reading┬áVolume 29, Number 2, July 1995, pp.2-4.

Published in ERN November/December 1995 Volume 8 Number 5

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